- Moushumi Das Gupta, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Children tie ‘Rakhi’ to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan in New Delhi. (PTI File Photo)
The NDA government has decided to celebrate the Hindu festival of Raksha Bandhan on August 29 —possibly not on a scale as huge as International Day of Yoga but matching in fervour and spirit.
Following this, a four-member committee, comprising Union ministers Smriti Irani and Ananth Kumar, was set up to supervise the nitty-gritty of celebrating Raksha Bandhan Diwas in a big way this year, sources said.
“Cabinet ministers might be asked to visit their constituencies to celebrate the festival in which sisters tie a sacred thread or rakhi on their brother’s arm,” an official said.
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said in Bhubaneswar on Raksha Bandhan last year that the festival has national significance. “Celebrating the festival is a way to protect Hindu culture and live the values enshrined in it.”
An RSS Raksha Bandhan function was held at urban development and parliamentary affairs minister M Venkaiah Naidu’s residence in Delhi in 2014 after the BJP rode to power with an overwhelming majority.
Union ministers, BJP MPs and RSS leaders, including Bhaiyaji Joshi who was chief guest, attended the function.
There were also reports that hundreds of old widows spending their twilight years at ashrams in Varanasi made 1,000 rakhis last year for “new brother” Modi, who made his Lok Sabha debut from the holy city by the Ganga.